Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed right-to-work legislation, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a state that has been a cradle of the movement for generations.
He put his signatures on the bills Tuesday, hours after the state House passed the measures as the chants of thousands of angry pro-union protesters filled the Capitol.
Snyder says a failed ballot proposal to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the constitution triggered the discussion that led to the passage and signing of right-to-work.
During a news conference, he called the protests "an exercise in democracy."
The Michigan Legislature has given final approval to a contentious right-to-work plan limiting the power of unions, sending it to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature.
The GOP-controlled House passed two bills Tuesday that were previously approved by the Senate. One dealt with public-sector workers and another focused on the private sector. Both chambers had approved a version of the private sector bill last week.
Snyder says he expects to sign the plan as early as Wednesday.
The labor stronghold of Michigan would become the 24th right-to-work state, banning requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services.
Passage followed numerous unsuccessful challenges from Democrats as well as raucous protests inside and outside the Capitol from thousands of pro-union demonstrators.
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